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Age 87, of Friendship Village, Upper St. Clair, died January 9, 2014. "Skeeter," as he was known by family and friends, was the loving husband for 65 years of Patricia (Darling) Melton, died peacefully on Thursday, January 9, 2014, following an illness. Keith was born May 31, 1926, in Hickory, NC. He was preceded in death by his parents, Barbara Virginia Deitz and Harry Jefferson Melton; his stepfather, Edward Powell of Boston, MA; and brother- in-law, Douglas Darling of Venice, FL. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his beloved children, Steven (Mary) Melton of Howell, MI, Scott (Angela) Melton of Moon Township, PA, and Nancy (David) Sheperd of Hudson, OH; also survived by seven grandchildren, whom he cherished, Kathryn Sheperd (David) Kramer of Allison Park, PA, Lindsey Sheperd of New York City, NY, Thomas Sheperd of Hudson, OH, Conner McBride, Natalie Melton, Rachael Melton, and Shannon Melton, all of Moon Township, PA; sister-in-law, Patricia Darling of Venice, FL; nephew, John (Kim) Darling; and great-nephews. Keith's ancestors were some of the earliest pioneers in America, settling in the mid-1600s on the coast of what was then Virginia near present day Assateague Island. He proudly displayed a framed copy of one of his ancestor's discharge papers from the American Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. In his youth, Keith was the youngest Boy Scout in Illinois at that time to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, then the highest award in Scouting. He was an accomplished athlete who played first base as a minor league baseball player in Chicago. Keith obtained his high school degree from DePaul University Academy, Chicago, IL, in 1944, while also taking night classes in Physics at Marquette Night School in Chicago. As did many young men of the time, during World War II, he volunteered for the armed forces just after turning age 18. He served as an infantryman/rifleman with the U.S. Army, 1st Division, Company B of the 26th Infantry
Regiment in the European Theatre, earning two Bronze Stars. He saw combat throughout Germany and crossed the Remagen Bridge under ferocious air, artillery, tank, and missile attack to help hold the first bridgehead on the German side of the Rhine River. At the war's end, he was fighting to liberate Czechoslovakia. Following the end of the war, he served as a military policeman at the Nuremberg War Trials. There, he met United States Supreme Court Justice, Robert H. Jackson, Esquire, Chief Prosecutor for the United States, and guarded a number of high ranking Nazi war leaders. Because he achieved the highest score in his regiment on an academic achievement test, after the war the U.S. Army paid for him to attend college at Shrivenham University, Shrivenham, England, where he pursued liberal arts studies. Following his discharge from military service, Keith obtained his college degree in business under the GI Bill at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He and Pat married in his senior year. After graduation, he obtained a job as a salesman with the United States Steel Corporation where, after a series of transfers to Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and finally back to Pittsburgh in 1964, he became Executive Manager of US Steel in Pittsburgh and retired after 35 years with the company. An Upper St. Clair resident since 1964, Keith was an avid golfer who held many positions during his 50 years of membership at Chartiers Country Club in Rosslyn Farms. He and Pat played golf together nearly every Sunday afternoon at Chartiers and had many friends there. Keith and Pat were longtime members of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Upper St. Clair. During Keith's working years, and after retirement, he and Pat traveled extensively. In 2007, Keith and Pat moved to Friendship Village, USC, where they knew many residents and quickly developed a rich network of wonderful new friends. Keith recently served as President of Friendship Village. As a boy, Keith was a fan of the Horatio Alger stories where the protagonist, an impoverished youth, succeeded in life by intelligence, hard work, courage, honesty, pluck, and luck. He embodied those values in living his life which, happily, was duly rewarded with a wonderful marriage, a loving family, successful career, and an invigorating retirement. He was often heard to remark to his children a lesson which he set by example, "A job worth doing is worth doing well." Friends will be received Thursday, January 16, 2014, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. in the BEINHAUER FUNERAL HOME, 2828 Washington Road, McMurray. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, January 17, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. in the Chapel at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2040 Washington Road, Pgh., PA 15241, Jim Gilchrist officiating. Interment with military guard will follow at 1:00 p.m. in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, PA. Thereafter, a light lunch will be served in the hall at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in the name of Keith Melton to the at www.donate.heart.org and the Salvation Army at www.use.salvationarmy.org or 440 West Nyack, West Nyack, NY 10994. Please add or view tributes at:
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Jan. 14 to Jan. 15, 2014
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